Colorado Woman Dies During Boating Trip on Colorado River, Park Officials Say

A photo of Hance Rapid at Grand Canyon National Park.

Mary Kelley, 68, died on the 9th day of a private boating trip, a report said.

A 68-year-old Colorado woman died after she fell into a powerful whitewater rapid during a group boating trip in Grand Canyon National Park, park officials said.

The woman was identified as Mary Kelley of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Kelley had been on the 9th day of a multi-day private boating trip, CBS News reported

The tragedy happened on Thursday at approximately 11:18 a.m. when park officials were alerted by a personal locator beacon from a non-commercial river trip near Hance Rapid on the Colorado River, according to a statement by the National Park Service (NPS). 

Park officials said Kelley had entered the river at the top of Hance Rapid, which is where Red Canyon intersects with the Colorado River at River Mile 77.

"This is a highly technical and powerful whitewater rapid that was formed by debris from flash floods that tore through Red Canyon," park officials said. 

Members of a private boating group pulled Kelley out of the water and began to administer CPR to resuscitate her but she was unresponsive. When park rangers arrived at the scene via helicopter their lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful. 

Park officials said an investigation into the incident is being conducted by the National Park Service and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

Related Stories